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Microbial safety and shelf life of UV-C treated freshly squeezed white grape juice
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The effects of UV-C irradiation on the inactivation of Escherichia coli K-12 (ATCC 25253), a surrogate of E. coli O157:H7, and on the shelf life of freshly squeezed turbid white grape juice (FSWGJ) were investigated. FSWGJ samples were processed at 0.90 mL/s for 32 min by circulating 8 times in an annular flow UV system. The UV exposure time was 244 s per cycle. The population of E. coli K-12 was reduced by 5.34 log cycles after exposure to a total UV dosage of 9.92 J/cm2 (1.24 J/cm2 per cycle) at 0.90 mL/s flow rate. The microbial shelf life of UV-C treated FSWGJ was extended up to 14 d at 4 °C. UV exposure was not found to alter pH, total soluble solid, and titratable acidity of juice. There was a significant effect (P < 0.05) on turbidity, absorbance coefficient, color, and ascorbic acid content. Furthermore, all physicochemical properties were altered during refrigerated storage. The microbial shelf life of FSWGJ was doubled after UV-C treatment, whereas the quality of juice was adversely affected similarly observed in the control samples. Practical Applications: UV-C irradiation is a non-thermal method used for processing of fruit juices with a minimal or no changes in flavor, essential nutrients, and vitamins. Fresh grape juice is a popular drink, usually consumed at summer time due to many beneficial health effects. Although thermal pasteurization is widely used for extending the shelf life of fruit juices, it causes a "cook taste" in grape juice. The applicability of UV-C irradiation as an alternative to thermal pasteurization was investigated. It is concluded that UV-C treatment can be used for extending the shelf life of fresh grape juice.